Many people worship celebrities, but is this tendency stable over time? This would mean that certain types of people consistently worship celebrities. Indeed, some people have been termed celebrity worshipers.
Anecdotal accounts of celebrity worshipers have indicated that people worship the same celebrities for long periods of time (i.e., months, if not years), but the anecdotes do not provide solid data.
Therefore, a new study by Griffith and colleagues (2013) chose to examine the temporal stability of the tendency to worship celebrities over a 3-month period. The 23-item Celebrity Attitude Scale has been developed to measure the degree to which people worship celebrities, so this particular scale was used on two different occasions to 248 participants.
It seems like three types of celebrity worshipers exist (Griffith et al, 2013). First, there are people who are interested in the lives of celebrities because they look good, the media provides celebrity news, the celebrities’ lives are entertaining, and most importantly, the stories of celebrities provide a basis for social interaction.
These people follow the absorption-addiction model, and the majority of worshipers may belong to this group, since this kind of worshipping is at an entertainment-social level. For this reason, the personality trait extraversion has been associated with it.
Secondly, there are people who become absorbed in the personal lives of celebrities to the point where it interferes with their own lives. This kind of worshipping is at the intense-personal level, and it has been linked to the personality trait neuroticism (and poor mental health).
The third kind of worshipping consists of people who are labeled as borderline-pathological, but luckily these people only represent a small minority. These people perform compulsive acts that do not benefit the worshiper, and it may be considered as the most extreme degree of worshipping. As a result, it has been related to aspects of narcissism and psychoticism.
Griffith and colleagues (2013) found that worshipping celebrities is a stable tendency. This is despite the fact that the media frequently presents both positive and negative accounts of celebrities, so negative news do not seem to influence this tendency.
For example, 68.2% of all participants picked the same favorite celebrity over the 3-months period. In sum, the study shows that the tendency to worship celebrities is stable over time, and it also shows that different types of worshipers exist – some more extreme than others.